Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter Bread


I come from a family of all Germans, but we have very few German traditions and even fewer recipes. You would think a German family from Cincinnati would be rich in ethnic recipes, but, nope. I mentioned a lack of an Easter bread recipe to my mother-in-law, who is also of German ancestry and she said, "Germans only make noodles." She was teasing, but maybe it's true. At least when it comes to Easter bread. I couldn't find a recipe any where. So, I made up my own. It was yummy, though I really don't have anything to compare it to, having come from a Easter Bread-less family. It was just a tad bit cinnamony, and I think that next year I'll add some orange zest, which I've noted as optional in the recipe. It was soft, and fluffy and the perfect Easter morning breakfast.

Easter Bread

1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. warm milk (baby bottle warm)
1 T. active yeast
3 T. soft butter
1/2 c. sugar
3 eggs at room temp.
1 t. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon
pinch nutmeg (or more if you like nutmeg)
1 t. orange zest (optional)
1 t. salt
> 4 cups bread flour, depending on the humidity
Four eggs, colored with Easter egg color, but not hard boiled (color them after the kids are finished coloring the hard boiled eggs so you don't risk contaminating your hard-boiled eggs)

2 cups powdered sugar
a tablespoon or more of orange juice

Pour warm milk and water into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle with a small amount of sugar (from the 1/2 cup measure), and then sprinkle with yeast. Let sit for about five minutes.

Add butter and eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and orange zest (if desired). With a dough hook on medium high speed add two cups flour. Slowly add in remaining measure of flour a few tablespoons at a time until dough is soft but not sticky, adding a little bit more than 4 cups of flour if necessary to get a dough that is not sticky.

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Let bowl sit in a warmish place for an hour or until dough has doubled in size.

Punch dough down and divide into three equal parts.

Roll each piece into a 20 inch rope.

Pinch ropes together at one end and braid them together. Pinch together at the other end. 

Place braid in a ring shape on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet.

Press eggs into braid gently (they are still raw!).

Cover and let rise for 45 minutes until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (Gently push eggs down again but be careful not to deflate the dough.)


Whisk together an egg and a few teaspoons of water. Brush over bread. Bake for 40 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow and is deep golden brown on top. (You can use an instant-read thermometer if you like and bake until temp is 190 degrees F.)

When bread is completely cool, mix together powdered sugar with enough orange juice to make a thick glaze. Drizzle over bread.

After glaze hardens, wrap with plastic wrap until ready to serve.



Jessica said...

That looks wonderful! I really was hoping to make some (the Easter Bread Nests that Charlotte made last year using the Lucia Bread recipe) for Easter Sunday morning, but it just didn't happen. However, the Easter season is 50 days long, so I figure I still have plenty of time to try it (or even both recipes!!) out this year! Thanks for sharing your recipe! :)

Lori N from MN said...

Oh this looks almost too pretty to cut into - but I suppose once we smelled it... lol!

I want to thank you for your Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, Barbara... just LOVE that recipe. I tried the original recipe for the first time at Christmas, and tried the extra rich for Easter - and everyone absolutely raved about them!
This is one recipe I've got to hang on to!

I'm still trying to catch up on my blogs that I pretty-much gave up for Lent, and was stunned when I read you considered ending this blog. So THANKFUL you reconsidered! :-) Blessings~

Jane said...

Barbara, This bread looks wonderful! I've thought of making this type of bread many times over the years but never found a recipe that I thought I would like. Your's sounds so easy and it's beautiful too.

I too was stunned to hear you were considering ending your blog but I understand putting out posts and getting few comments would be discouraging. I've been reading your blog for years. When ever I need a recipe for a tried and true dish, I always check your blog first. I've made many of your recipes and don't think I've ever been disappointed. I've been making my own yogurt recently because of your inspiration. So glad you are not going away.

scmom (Barbara) said...

This would be lovely on any Sunday morning -- even without the eggs.

I'm glad you like the potatoes -- they are so simple and it's nice to have a dish done ahead of time.

Thanks, Jane, for your kind thoughts. I appreciate it.

Dagney1 said...

thanks for posting - I also come from a German family with no baking traditions . . . except my noodle recipe from my grandmother. I'm adopting your egg bread. thanks

Kim Madison said...

I was looking for a German Easter Bread recipe to do with my German-British grandmother this Easter! I too come from a German family (my mom's side only) but all that we have passed down is Hot German potato salad. Of course though we, being Americans, use bacon instead of ham hock but its a classic family favorite! I guess we Germans need to learn to start passing on recipes, lol!